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Live From New York

December 2007

By Published: December 15, 2007
Sheila Jordan/Roswell Rudd Birthday Celebrations at Iridium

Birthday-celebrating septuagenarians Sheila Jordan and Roswell Rudd fêted each other with two nights of joyous jazz at Iridium Nov. 17th-18th. The first night's second set began with Rudd blowing a boisterous introduction to his "Suh Blah Buh Sibi (a song he recorded with Jordan 33 years ago), accompanied by the superb trio of pianist Lafayette Harris, bassist Cameron Brown and drummer Barry Altschul. Jordan then joined in, prefacing her vocal with an account of how Rudd wrote the song while driving a cab, as the composer waved his trombone back and forth, imitating the faulty windshield wiper that inspired the rhythmic melody. A natural storyteller, the singer introduced her version of "Autumn In New York with a tale of Charlie Parker walking down 52nd Street and then ended the piece by aptly quoting Jon Hendricks' hip lyric to George Russell's "New York, New York . Jordan and Rudd had a ball on their version of "Whatever Turns You , with the former scatting wildly while the latter played raucous tailgate trombone. Duo interludes, first by Rudd and Harris on a "Night In Tunisia -inspired tune (with words of warning concerning the earth's ecology) and then by Jordan and Brown, performing a Miles tribute of "Blue Skies , "All Blues and "Freddie Freeloader , calmed the atmosphere momentarily, but Jordan livened things up again with a hilarious version of Sonny Rollins' "Pent-Up House and then ended with the blues and a Happy Birthday coda.

Sam Rivers at Miller Theater

The 84-year-old Sam Rivers celebrated his illustrious career in a concert at the Marian Anderson Theater at Harlem Stage (Nov. 10th) billed as "Sam Rivers and his Orchestra: Music Visionary in Three Parts . The evening began with an onstage interview with Rivers, during which he recounted his long life in music. Afterwards the saxophonist was joined by bassist Doug Mathews and drummer Rion Smith for a trio performance that highlighted the high-octane octogenarian's prowess as a spontaneous improviser. The tenorist followed with his beautiful ballad "Nightfall . Rivers then began bringing out individual members of his orchestra in odd configurations that blended his improvisational and compositional personalities: first a horn quartet with him on tenor, next with a flute quintet and then finally with a small ensemble featuring his soulful soprano sax. The music moved smoothly through a kaleidoscope of moods - from cathartic cacophony to blissful serenity to wailing swing - that reflected the multifaceted personality of the man himself. The latest edition of the Rivbea Orchestra, the 16-piece big band Rivers has managed to maintain for four decades to perform his more than 400 compositions, filled the final segment of the concert. The opening "Revival hearkened back to Rivers' gospel and blues roots while "Quagmire was a challenging oddly-constructed piece with an ominous mood. The concert ended on a happy note with Rivers on flute for his pretty "Willow .

~ Russ Musto

Recommended New Listening:

· Harry Allen — Hits By Brits (Twinz-Challenge)

· Martin Bejerano — Evolution/Revolution (Reservoir)

· Michael Blake Sextet — Amor de Cosmos (Songlines)

· Peter Evans — The Peter Evans Quartet (Firehouse 12)

· His Name Is Alive — Sweet Earth Flower: A Tribute to Marion Brown (High Two)

· Henning Sieverts — Symmetry (Pirouet) -David Adler NY@Night Columnist,

· Dena DeRose — Live at Jazz Standard, Vol. One (MAXJAZZ)

· Dominic Duval — Songs for Krakow (Not Two)

· His Name Is Alive — Sweet Earth Flower: A Tribute to Marion Brown (High Two)

· Steve Rust — Soundpainting Sextet (with Walter Thompson) (Dane)

· Arturo Stable — Notes on Canvas (Origen)

· Howard Wiley — The Angola Project (s/r) -Laurence Donohue-Greene Managing Editor, AllAboutJazz-New York

· Carla Bley — The Lost Chords find Paolo Fresu (ECM)

· Francois Carrier/Michel Lambert — Kathmandu (FMR)

· Kaufmann/Gratkowski/De Joode — Palaë (Leo)

· Andrew Robson/Paul Cutlan — Simpatico (Lamplight)

· Evan Parker/Ned Rothenberg — Live At Roulette (Animul)

· Territory Band with Fred Anderson — Collide (Okkadisk)

-Andrey Henkin Editorial Director, AllAboutJazz-New York

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